But while there can be many luxuries to working from home, such as working in tracksuits and avoiding that morning commute, it can be a lonely experience for many employees. It’s also perhaps harder to look out for our staff and their wellbeing when you switch from spending 8 hours a day with them, to only seeing a face on a computer screen.
So, how can you look out for your staff’s wellbeing during this new way of working? Here are some tips we’ve been using at Apricity that you may find resourceful.
Routine is important, setting a daily morning or afternoon call with your team will allow you to set out a clear path for the day and catch up on what progress everyone has made, along with providing a frequent opportunity for communication. But also, check in on your employees on a one to one level too, ask them how they are doing not just inside of work but outside of their work hours, how are they keeping busy? How are they getting on with their day to day life? Is there anything they are struggling with?
While the suit and tie may not be leaving the wardrobe for a while, it’s important to change out of those pyjamas for the day. Having a team catch up first thing is a sure-fire way to encourage this, as most people won’t want their team to see them in their pj’s! Many people are approaching the “smart upstairs, casual downstairs” approach, wearing a shirt and sweatpants for conference call meetings. Some even say putting on shoes is a good move, it helps get you in the mental space that you are at work and not lounging at home.
Ergonomists have said for years that sitting down all day is not beneficial for employees, encouraging your staff to set an alarm for each hour to get up and move around is a good idea to avoid discomfort. Whether it’s to pop the kettle on, check in on their pets or just have a good stretch.
As well as keeping moving, it’s important to increase your activity as you’re now limited to where you can go. Walking, jogging and running are ideal options for utilising your daily outside exercise option. But there are many ways you can get active in your home too, online resources can offer you sessions on yoga, weight training and dance exercises. Sharing how you’re being active with your colleagues can be a great motivation tool, maybe introduce a challenge within your team such as who can do the most steps in a week or who has learnt the most yoga poses.
Despite not being able to go out and socialise, it’s important to find hobbies at home. Your colleagues may benefit from media recommendations such as books, films and TV shows. Perhaps even organising work social gatherings online with quizzes could be a way to keep interaction and enjoyment going.
Eating your lunch at your desk isn’t a healthy option even in the office, so when working from home it’s a good idea to move away from your working space and sit somewhere else and take some time out. If the weather is good, suggest your colleagues eat out in the garden or perhaps eat their sandwiches after taking a quick walk outside.
Offices are filled with conversations, ringing phones and other miscellaneous noise. Whilst working in silence maybe the idea of heaven for some people, others may struggle. We suggest using the radio, as this not only has music but also conversation to break up the noise, which some people may be without during this time. Alternatively, there are a growing number of podcasts out there, including our own, That Mint Podcast, which people may find more comforting as it feels like people are in the room.
Maintaining a boundary between your work life and your home life, even if you are working from home, can increase concentration and motivation. Ensuring workers have a clean space to work from with limited distractions, such as the TV being on, can help to structure their day and aid them to not fall behind with daily tasks.
Adapting to home working is a constant learning process, especially with not knowing how long we will be doing this for. Ensuring that the wellbeing of your staff is still being looked after throughout this time, will no doubt improve working relationships, increase their motivation and even their performance.